It's been roller coaster of a few weeks here which saw a final straw being added to my difficulties.This led to a trip away to think, decisions were made and unmade, tears were shed and frustrations expressed. I am calmer now but still with doubts and worries.
One of the problems when raising a child like J is trying to make the best decisions at the right time, as a parent I know I won't always get it right and my fear is that I will cause J long term issues because of decisions I make or don't make at this point.
Currently education is giving me headaches and nightmares despite the best efforts of individuals within J's school. I recently attended the parent/teacher evening where I met most of J's teachers and it was very reassuring. Everybody made nice comments about J, he was described as polite, enthusiastic, friendly and a lovely member of each class. Academically he has progressed a little since Easter but all in all he has made no progress at all this year. In some cases he is now a whole two levels lower than when he left Y6. My problems with this is that J is not unintelligent, he is bright, he knows what he wants to say and has lots to contribute. All his teachers said the same but commented about his poor handwriting, about his struggle to concentrate, also his fast paced brain thinking ahead and asking about stuff the teacher has not yet covered. Yet he remains in all the bottom sets and his assessed levels put him in the bottom 15% of achievement. Something somewhere is wrong and I suspect that is mainstream education with its fast paced approach and one size fits all ethos.
A local education advocacy service is now offering me support and their opinion is that J is in the wrong setting, the problem with this though is that the ideal setting does not exist, at least not in the state sector. I have requested a change to a happy medium,a special school which will meet J's needs more than adequately but at a slower pace than mainstream school. In making this request I am going to war with the local authority but I am beyond accepting the cheapest most convenient option for them.
So all the paper work went in on Tuesday along with a diary of incidents to show what J has experienced this year. A covering letter tells the Local Authority that I have no faith in the mainstream system. It also says that I have little faith in the Local Authority either as I suspect they are prepared to accept the lowest possible achievements and outcomes for J in the name of saving money.
I have news for them, they are not balancing their budget with MY child as a casualty...not now and not ever.
Watch this space.